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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shot man's heart 'couldn't take Taser shock'

June 16, 2009
Christine Kellett, Brisbane Times

Police who were allegedly rushed at with a machete during a lengthy lengthy siege in central Queensland yesterday were told not to Taser their attacker because he had a heart complaint, it has been revealed.

The 32-year-old man was instead shot several times in the abdomen and upper thigh with police-issue pistols about 8.30am in West Rockhampton, after holding police at bay for more than 24 hours.

They had been called to the Stickley Street property about 8am on Monday following a domestic complaint and were forced to cordon off surrounding streets and advise neighbours to lock themselves in their homes while they attempted to negotiate with the man.

The stand-off came to a head when the man allegedly rushed at officers with a machete.

Acting President of the Queensland Police Union, Ian Leavers, said yesterday the man had come close to slashing the officers before they opened fire.

Police had earlier been advised not to use a Taser stun gun on the man because he suffered from a serious medical condition affecting his heart.

"Police took every precaution and sought medical advice about his medical condition. He didn't have a pacemaker, but it is some sort of metal device fitted that may have been affected (by an electric shock)" a police union spokesman said.

"It was obviously a long, ongoing siege, so police were able to do that."

The man was taken to Rockhampton Hospital, where he remains under guard.

His injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Senior police said yesterday the Ethical Standards Command was investigating the incident - the second fatality involving police weapons in four days.

On Friday, 39-year-old Brandon man Antonio Galeano died after being shot three times with a Taser in another violent stand-off with police near Ayr, in north Queensland.

The QPU said toxicology reports were expected to show the Taser played no role in Mr Galeano's death.

Police involved in yesterday's shooting were interviewed yesterday and have returned to work.

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